Former Texas A&M linebacker Santino Marchiol has accused coach Jimbo Fisher and his staff of violating NCAA rules and is hoping to play at Arizona under new transfer rules, according to USA Today.
Marchiol transferred to Arizona in August after seeing behavior from the coaching staff that "made him uncomfortable," including mishandling his ankle injury and giving players money to host prospects.
The linebacker is seeking immediate eligibility to play at Arizona under the NCAA's new transfer policy change, when "documented mitigating circumstances that are outside student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete.”
USA Today cited information from Marchiol's statement in his transfer waiver request to Arizona's compliance office.
Marchiol said that a coach paid him and other players hundreds of dollars multiple times to host recruits on unofficial visits. Under NCAA rules, players are given $40 to host recruits on official visits, but prospects must pay for their own expenses if they are on an unofficial visit.
Marchiol also said that linebackers coach Bradley Dale Peveto pulled him into a bathroom after a spring game to hand him $300 to host a prospect.
"There were coaches having meetings in the other office, and he said, here, come in the bathroom real quick because he’d just asked me to host the recruit,” Marchiol said. “So I went in the bathroom and it was just me and him in there, and he’s like, ‘Take this, if you need any more just text me and make sure they have a good time.’ ”
According to Marchiol, he spent the money on drinks and snacks for recruits but gave none of it to them. He also said he had no record of the purchases and kept the left over money.
The linebacker also described "voluntary" practices in June that were run more like standard football practices and did not comply with NCAA rules.
Marchiol decided to leave after sustaining an ankle injury in June, when he heard a "pop" in his right foot while warming up for a workout. He missed his freshman season after suffering a fracture in his left foot and having three screws put in. The linebacker felt that the training staff under Sumlin took his injury seriously, but the new staff forced him to play and push through the injury.
NCAA spokesperson Stacey Osburn told USA Today that the association does not comment on current, pending or potential cases.
Texas A&M also provided USA Today with a statement, saying they are "reviewing the situation with the NCAA and the SEC Office."
When asked Tuesday about Marchiol's allegations against the program, Fisher told reporters that he had not read anything about it.
"I was informed the article came out," Fisher said. "I haven't read it. I don't know anything about it so I can't comment on it. I'll comment on the players on our team right now. That's all I can do."